TTC toronto

This is what the TTC looked like in the 1950's and 60's

As far as archival photos of Toronto go, those that depict the early days of the TTC are among my favourites. In fact, tracking the transformation of surface vehicles from horse-drawn trolleys to electric streetcars to fishbowl buses was one of the most entertaining aspects of our decade-by-decade historical photo series. What's somewhat strange, however, is that with the exception of the entry for the 1950s, the series doesn't include a whole lot of photos of the subway system. And since I miss compiling those posts, I thought I'd do a little digging for photos of the underground.

These aren't particularly hard to find. Both the TTC and Eric Trussler fonds at the Toronto Archives are a plentiful resource of scanned photo negatives. Trussler was a professional photographer whose main client was the TTC, so he's responsible for a large chunk of the documentation of the early subway system.

One of the things that so interesting about Trussler's images of the subway stations themselves is that he often overexposes them ever so slightly. These high-tone photos make the system look absolutely pristine, and in some cases they give it an almost "space-age" look (particularly those bereft of passengers).

So this little exercise is more aesthetic than it is historical. For more information about the history of the TTC, check out Transit Toronto's ample work in this area. The first group of these images date back to the beginning of the Yonge Line (opened in 1954), and the remainder derive from the opening of the University and Danforth Lines in 1963 and 1966 respectively.

Off the boat 1953

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Subway Car 1953

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Interior 1953

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The First Run 1953

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Eglinton Station 1954

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King Station 1954

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Ticket Booths 1954

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Eglinton Station 1961

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St. Clair Station 1961

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Eglinton Station 1962, Duplex Exit (now gone)

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Museum Station Entrance 1963

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Museum Station 1963

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Queen's Park 1963

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St. George Station 1963

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St. Patrick Station 1963

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Near Castle Frank Station, mid 1960s

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Between Old Mill and Royal York stations, mid 1960s

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Bay Station 1966

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Bay Station 1966

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Bloor Station 1966

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Yonge 1966

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Bloor/Yonge Station Entrance 1966

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St. George Station 1966

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Bathurst Station 1967

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All images from the Toronto Archives.

Lead photo by

With files from Derek Flack.


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